Tokyo Gaijin vs. Kawagoe Fighters.
Dateline: 5th February, 2017
Score: 59 – 0
Opposition Man of the Match: Takuya Ichizono
Gaijin Man of the Match: Paul Bertier
It took a while for the Gaijin to find their tempo and thier feet in the game in the opening 10 minutes as it wasn’t the most memorable. Kawagoe Fighters were setting themselves in the Gaijin 22m thanks to the Gaijin making unnecassary mistakes and getting penalised at the breakdowns and knocking on simple ball. This gave all the advantage to the Fighters, but even though the Gaijin were scrappy, they managed to scramble out of trouble and find some clean passages of play and eventually found themselves with good opportunities to work their way upfield.
Once the set pieces were clicking, the Gaijin backline could find some space and the first try came from quick ball to Takuya, who stepped inside the defender to dot down near the posts. This seemed to open the game a bit and give the Gaijin confidence to keep going forward. Some good chases from Paddy’s kicks allowed to the Gaijin to force turnover ball and this allowed for an eventual ruck that saw Paddy work his way through the inside channel and score the first of his hat trick tries untouched under the posts.
Once the structures came right and the ideas and communication came together, the game began to click better for the Gaijin. Some 50/50 passes weren’t sticking when the better option was to take the ball to ground, which gave the Fighters some possession and put the Gaijin under self-inflicted pressure. Some ordinary tackles allowed for the Fighters to find speed and open up down the wings, but the Gaijin scrambled well to stop anything truly threatening.
The first half was scrappy and not structed as well as the Gaijin could be but they lead 21-0 and were looking to close out the game. A few words from the captains and coach got the boys reloaded and refocused and the first of the subs rolled on.
Even after a disjointed first half, some good elements came of it with eventual man of the match, Paul, shutting down any attempt that Kawagoe made around the fringes. The tackling was stronger than before, but this may have been to the superior size difference of the Gaijin compared to the Fighters.
The second half saw a different mind set. The talking was a lot better and the defensive structures were holding better. The momentum continued with better everything and a step up in attitude and structuring. A more than one occassion, the Gaijin were chasing better and in a flat line on defense which created chances and actual tries.
The Fighters began to fade as the Gaijin got their act together and this was reflected in the territory and possession, especially in the set pieces. The Gaijin scrum generated 2 push over tries from 5 metres out and the line outs were accurate with very few not hitting the mark.
Every player put in a good shift and no one came to the goat’s table as all were looking to create chances with the ball. There are a few things to improve, as always, but with the final score of 59-0, the boys can be happy with that shift.
1- Tommy Nasuno
2- Tomo Setoguchi (C)
3- Donny Sloth (sub: Kosuke)
4- John Simpson
5- Natsu Kunitomo (sub: Tomura)
6- Liam Ramshaw (sub: Yuta)
7- Paul Bertier
8- Gorka Smith (vc)
9- Sota Kaneko (sub: Shin)
10- Paddy Watson
11- Toma Ballan (sub: Bati)
12- Alex Auld (vc) (sub: Toma)
13- Dan Benson
14- Yamagen Mohemohe (sub: Junior)
15- Takuya Ichizono (sub: Tachi)
16- Kosuke Yamamoto
17- John Tora
18- Roy Tachi
20- Apisai Bati
22- Junior Bati
Tries: Takuya; Paddy (3); Gorka (2); Alex (2); Junior
Conversions: Takuya (5/6); Paddy (1/2); Junior (1/1)